Though I am sure about moving to Vietnam this summer to teach English and travel for the following year, I haven't yet made up my mind if I want to live in one of the big cities or smaller town like Da Nang. I'll have time to travel around before settling. My question is a simple one: is the job market about as good in a smaller town like Da Nang as in HCMC? If you're moving without a Work Permit, do you think a small town might be risky because the schools will have more oversight from the police?
Or should I not worry about it and trust that as long as there are English schools, there is the opportunity to work?
I've got plenty of years of experience teaching and a CELTA Pass A to defend myself with.
Lastly, what are some of the towns with good expat communities and good work opportunities for someone without a WP?
Thanks in advance!
Nowhere near as easy to find work in smaller towns. Less work, more and better candidates for what work there is mean lower wages, fewer hours and more effort needed to get by.
Those who do manage to find their niche usually have good quals and experience before arriving.
Start in Hanoi or HCMC and try to relocate after about 6 months. Even then you may come a cropper.
If, as you say, you have time to travel around before settling then do that. Get an idea of the place. As Skarper says, there's obviously more work in the cities than the towns.
The cops aren't nearly as scary as you might think. Buying them tea is always a good idea. And yep, stick those work permit concerns in the back of the wardrobe for now. Brush them off later.
Haha, thank you both (who seem to be particularly active in this forum and answering all my questions)!
The idea of me fumbling clumsily trying to offer police officers tea because I read your suggestion is making me chuckle to myself. I'm imagining some terrible slapstick, then ending with hot tea all over a police officer and me handcuffed.
So when you say the cities are the best places to look for work, you refer to Hanoi and HCMC... are there any others that are smaller but still qualify as busy enough for me to find work?
You're both pure gold for your help and positivity :)
You don't need to actually give them the cup of tea, to save time you can just give them some cash and they can buy their own tea, see?
I know a couple of teachers who are based and teach outside Hanoi, there are schools within 20 km or so if that's the kind of thing you fancy. But again no, you'll likely find it tougher finding work at schools in the smaller cities (Da Nang, Da Lat). Haiphong's not far from Ganoi but I wouldn't recommend it as a place to live fir any length of time.
But again, take time to travel to help get an understanding of how things work here.
I'd start in Hanoi or HCMC. This is obviously not what you want to hear but it is IMO sound advice.
I have met several people in Da Nang who were scratching by on 5-10 hours a week despite being ideal candidates in many ways.
After about 6 months you can maybe make the move with better prospects.
Set up costs are your main issue.
Airfares, visas, deposits and living expenses before getting paid can run high.
Always a need for English teachers. Dalat is a very calm town. Excellent for living. Restaurants all VN or pretend to be Western.
Find a VN company person to represent you for documents. It's all about the language which expats can not master.
Better weather there in Danang. Don't go to a town that's 100% VN to try to work. You'll only be wasting your time. Hanoi and HCM have gotten to be megalopis- no flair.